Does this sound familiar: you’re getting ready to leave work on a Friday afternoon when an employee stops by, or perhaps sends you an email asking for a new piece of technology that you’ve never purchased before?
Most business owners and executives have been through this experience. And, it can lead to positive or negative outcomes depending on how the request or suggestion is handled. In this post, we want to run you through a handful of tips you should follow when an employee asks you to buy a new piece of tech with company money…
Don’t Immediately Reject the Suggestion
Your first instinct might be to reject the idea out of hand. After all, some employees will ask for something they don’t need at all, but very much want, feeling that they can “spend someone else’s money.” And, a lot of business owners and executives assume that if they needed a piece of tech they would’ve already heard about it through a vendor or colleague.
Often, any of these can be true. However, it’s also the case that your employees can know more about their jobs and needs than you do, and may have specialized expertise that gives them valuable insights. So, unless the request is one that seems far outside your budget or the scope of their work, it might be worth considering. Plus, employees will come to you more often with all sorts of opportunities if they feel they are being heard.
Find Out Where Your Employee Got the Idea
After hearing your employee out, your first question should be where they found out about the hardware, software, or device. Were they approached by a salesperson? Have they seen it in action, or even used it themselves?
When you have these answers you can better evaluate their request. If it’s simply the case that they became excited after seeing a demo at a tradeshow, for instance, the tech might not be as valuable as promised. But, if they have real-world experience using it (or know someone who does) there might be productivity or performance gains to be found.
Get Real on Costs and Implementation
Assuming the idea passes the first two hurdles, it’s time to get real in terms of cost and implementation. How would you use the tech in your business? How many people would need it, and what might it replace or supplement? Does it really do something better, or is it just newer and shinier?
You could add to these concerns the issue of cost. You probably can’t afford to give your team all the tools and amenities you would like. Buying one piece of expensive tech might mean forgoing other upgrades and benefits. Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons to see if you can figure out whether the expense is justified. In other words, your employees might ask for quite a bit, but you’re the one who has to decide whether buying a new tablet, app, or piece of machinery (as examples) is going to pay for itself over the long run.
Outsourced IT Care You Can Count On
Small and medium-sized businesses throughout Southern California turn to Fantastic IT because they want reliable coverage, friendly service, and clear billing practices. So, if you’re tired of dealing with persistent tech problems, or just want to make your team as productive as they can possibly be without blowing through your IT budget, contact us today to schedule a free consultation!